Where June felt like a decidedly light month in terms of content, July more than makes up for that with a ton of genre features. Horror and comedy fans especially have some intriguing films to look forward to, even if they may not ultimately deliver.
July was supposed to be a big month for sci-fi, but that changed after Warner Bros. pushed Jupiter Ascending to February. Even so, sci-fi fans should be plenty happy with this month's offerings.
Without further ado here are the 5 Movies We're Looking Forward to in July 2014.
6 Deliver Us From Evil (Release Date: July 2nd)
The "based on a true story" qualifier is thrown around too often in the horror genre, so we're affording minimal weight to Deliver Us From Evil's claims its story is based on real police accounts. Rather, it's the pedigree of director Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) that has us intrigued by the film. It doesn't hurt that Deliver Us From Evil has Eric Bana as its star either.
Last year, the horror genre dominated, but thus far the genre has struggled to post very strong numbers in 2014. Deliver Us From Evil seems like a strong contender to make a splash, though, even if it won't be able to beat Transformers 4 at the box office. The pieces are there, but it's up to audiences.
Watch the trailer for Deliver Us From Evil.
5 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Release Date: July 11th)
Despite fans' reservations prior to release, Rise of the Planet of the Apes proved to be a successful entry in the revamped franchise, combining a unique origin story with some of the best motion capture work we've ever seen. Because of that, expectations are much higher for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which replaces the prior film's human cast with new faces like Jason Clarke and Gary Oldman, while still retaining the true star, Caesar (Andy Serkis).
In Dawn, a dwindling contingent of humans struggle to coexist with the apes, who are now more organized and smarter. Caesar is a bona fide leader now and has even started a family. But really it's the promise of ape-on-human battles that holds the biggest appeal for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and early reviews of the film suggest it more than delivers.
Watch the trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
4 The Purge: Anarchy (Release Date: July 18th)
The first Purge film had a unique concept – for one night, all forms of crime are legal – but some would argue that it failed to fully capitalize on it. With The Purge: Anarchy, the hope is that the filmmakers will be able to improve upon the first film with a better story. And unlike many horror sequels, The Purge: Anarchy has kept original writer/director James DeMonaco on board to ensure this film achieves that goal.
This time around it's a young couple stranded by their broken car that must fend off the Purge participants while a vengeful father (Captain America 2's Frank Grillo) uses the night to his advantage. There's no safeguarded house this time around, which sounds like the horror sequel is taking things to another level.
Watch the trailer for The Purge: Anarchy.
3 Lucy (Release Date: July 25th)
Director Luc Besson has produced or written some of the most successful low-budget action flicks of the past ten years, but it's somewhat rare that he steps behind the camera these days. It is for that reason that Lucy has caught our eye. Well, that's not the only reason, but it's a big one.
Lucy casts Scarlett Johansson as a woman who, after some scientific tinkering, learns to utilize more of her brain's power than the average human. It starts with increased intelligence, but eventually expands to include superhuman powers like control over time and matter.
Granted, the idea that we only use 10% of our brains is an overused, and incorrect, concept in sci-fi, but this film could overcome that cliché set-up. Besson knows how to deliver kick-ass female characters, and Johansson has her fair share of experience in those types of roles. Could be a perfect fit for an exciting action film.
Watch the trailer for Lucy.
2 Hercules (Release Date: July 25th)
The second of two Hercules films slated to release this year, the succinctly titled Hercules boasts exactly what you would expect from a summer blockbuster centered on the demi-god. This time around it's Dwayne Johnson playing the character, and the film picks up with Hercules after having completed his twelve labors. Now, Hercules is a sword for hire – meaning Johnson will have plenty of opportunities to (literally) flex his onscreen persona.
With Brett Ratner at the helm, and considering this is the second Hercules film released in 2014, we could see this one coming up short at the box office. But it's never a smart move to count out the star power of Johnson, especially in the right movie. In all honesty, if any action star were to best epitomize Hercules, it would be a guy whose nickname is "The Rock."
Watch the trailer for Hercules.
Some would call July a horror-friendly month, but there are also a few comedies we're keeping an eye on. The Jason Segel/Cameron Diaz comedy Sex Tape has all the elements of a box office hit, but we could easily see the film falling flat. Melissa McCarthy has been on a box office tear as of late, but it will be the performance of Tammy that determines how much clout she still has.
As far as which film will win the month, it's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' to lose. Rise debuted to $54 million back in August 2011, and we would be surprised if Dawn didn't build upon that.
But what about you? Which June releases are you most looking forward to? Which film do you think will make the most money at the box office?
Once again, here are the five movies we're looking forward to this month:
- July 2: Deliver Us From Evil
- July 11: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- July 18: The Purge: Anarchy
- July 25: Lucy, Hercules
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina
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